You’ve taken the time to create an awesome blog post, so don’t you want to make sure that it ranks high in Google searches? Showing up on the top ten results of Google’s SERP (Search Engines Results Page) is no easy task, but it can be done when you create and optimize blog posts that will help your hard work to show up. How do you know this? We’ve got a ten-point checklist below to ensure your SEO rankings soar!
10 Point Checklist to Boost your Blog Posts
Ready to rank higher? Check out the list below!
1. Use Header Tags
Why are these so important in a blog post? Well, for starters, header tags are a leading factor in SEO ranking! When doing your header tags, then using keywords in them is a great way to help search engines to more easily crawl your website, taking in the information and boosting your rankings in the SERP.
What is a Header Tag?
Tags are used to display information on the page, and there are 6 different heading HTML tags: <h1>, <h2> all the way down to <h6>. The h1 tag is considered the most important tag in a search engine’s ranking, and it appears as the largest heading on web pages. Comparatively, the h6 tag is considered the least important and is formatted to be the smallest heading on the page.
Much like header tags are used to break up sections and describe what each section is about on an advisor website, they are also crucial when it comes to writing strong blog posts. When they are used in blog posts, it also makes the content easier to read and more easily digestible.
The above images include sections from a blog post from Twenty Over Ten client, Quarry Hill Advisors. They use headers and then subheaders to break down each section of the blog, along with images, as well.
2. Create and optimize your titles
When creating strong titles for your blog posts, there are certain things to keep in mind, after all, you want the titles to be enticing and make your readers want to keep reading to find out more, don’t you?
1. Use strong keywords in your titles
As we’ve mentioned the importance of keywords before, they not only communicate to the readers what the subject or section is about but also communicate to search engines what your work is about, therefore, helping your blog post to rank higher.
2. include numbers in your titles
Including numbers oftentimes means a list, which means it will be easily digestible and simple to read. When you include these in your blog posts, your readers will be more likely to check the blog out.
Twenty Over Ten client, Tobin Investment Planning uses a 5 in the above blog posts, showing that readers will have a blog broken down into 5 steps to best benefit them and help them determine their risk tolerance.
3. make your readers want to take action
Create something that entices your readers and makes them want to find out more about the subject.
4. keep your titles short
According to HubSpot, headlines that were between 8–12 words in length got the most Twitter shares on average. You want your titles to easily spell out what you are trying to tell your audience, but also not get too long or they will lose interest.
5. tailor your title to your niche audience
Since you are speaking and catering to a particular audience, don’t you want your blog posts to best help them and communicate the message to your audience? Create content that is particular to your niche and watch your readership soar.
6. ask a question in your title
When you ask a question, it prompts your readers to want to find out more, as it offers up a feeling of engagement and interaction.
Twenty Over Ten client, Gold Canyon Financial Planning, asks a question in the above blog post that makes their readers want to find out more about this post.
3. Add images with alt text
Using images in your blog posts is a great way to not only break up the text into easily digestible chunks but also the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than when they see text. So, obviously, it’s a good idea to use images to supplement your content, however, when you do include an image, make sure you use alt text as search engines are not able to crawl images and figure out what they are about. To help with this process, make sure you add alt text to all of your images. Alt text and alt tags impact a website’s SEO ranking. Advisors may use alt text to describe how the pictures relate to their financial planning business with additional keywords.
Twenty Over Ten client Tapparo Capital Management uses a graph in their blog, “Sell in May and Go Away? No way!” This not only breaks up the text, but also supplements the blog section as it is about the stock market.
How do You Add Alt Text to Images?
Step 1: Select the image you want to add to alt text to
Step 2: Access your “alternative text” button from your sidebar.
Step 3: After you have added the content of your choice, click the update button.
Step 4: After you have clicked the update button, click the save changes button.
4. include meta descriptions
Meta-descriptions may very well be the determining factor for if someone decides to click on your blog post or not. They are like an advertisement in a way of what your blog post will be about. Some things to keep in mind when creating your meta descriptions are:
- Keep the descriptions to 160 characters or less
- Provide a quick summary in your description
- Make sure it is specific and enticing
- Use relevant keywords
- Keep your niche in mind when writing them
How Do I Add Meta Descriptions to my Blogs?
Step 1: Access your “manage posts” from your sidebar (A icon).
Step 2: Select the blog post you would like to add metadata to.
Step 3: Scroll down until you reach the SEO description box and add your content.
Step 4: Your metadata should be a short 1-2 sentence description (rich in keywords) of the content appearing on that particular blog post. After you have added the content of your choice, click the save button.
5. implement a linking strategy
Linking can be broken down into two types on your website and blog posts, and that is internal linking and external linking.
With internal linking, it leads readers to other pages on your site. When preparing your blog post for publication, focus on your internal linking strategy. Linking your post with other pages on your site offers two benefits:
- It creates a roadmap for the reader.
- It keeps the SEO flowing throughout your site.
If they are reading something on a particular subject, then at the bottom, you can send them to other similar content, which will keep them on your website for longer and allow them to explore other important aspects of your website.
Linking to related posts not only helps Google understand your site structure, but it also helps promote one or more related posts at the end of your article, as well as, creating even more internal link juice. Linking to related posts also keeps visitors on your website as they browse through other articles and content you’ve created.
For example, on the Twenty Over Ten blog, “8 Social Media Questions You Were Too Afraid To Ask,” we included links to three additional related blog posts about social media at the bottom. We do this at the bottom of every one of our posts
For external linking, visitors are taken to third-party sites or sources. When you are creating a blog post and want to cite some relevant content, then hyperlink back to the third-party source. This can be a way to “network” in a sense, as the publication will be able to see that you are linking to them and be more likely to do the same for you moving forward, therefore, building backlinks.
Something to keep in mind when linking externally is to make sure that you are linking to relevant sources so that you can show that you are reliable and trustworthy yourself.
6. incorporate calls to action
If you don’t have a call-to-action on your blog post, then how will your readers know what to do next? If used appropriately on your blog post or webpage, then it will provide visitors with that extra boost that they need to take the next step.
Simply put, a CTA is a text or a graphic strategically placed on a website to entice visitors to take a proactive step in engaging with your business. Keep it short and sweet, generally just about 3-5 words while also conveying a sense of urgency, such as, “Find out more,” or “Schedule a meeting.”
In the above image, Twenty Over Ten client, Deupree James Wealth Management has a CTA at the bottom of their blog post to get in touch and shoot them an email if they have questions after reading the blog, “Street Signs: Don’t Fight The Fed.” This will take readers directly to an email or contact page rather than having someone search for it on the site.
How do you add a CTA to your website?
Step 1: Select a location to place your button and give your button a title.
Step 2: Highlight your title and select the link icon to open link upload menu.
Step 3: Paste the link’s URL.
Step 4: Click the box in the lower left-hand corner to open the link in a new browser tab. After you have made your changes, click the insert button.
Step 5: To style that link as a button, click on the link and select the wand icon to open the button’s style menu.
Step 6: You can manually choose the button’s style between a list of preset options. These are additive properties so in addition to selecting ‘button’, you should only select primary OR secondary (not both) to assign a specific style to that button.
Step 7: After you have selected the button of your choice, click the Save Changes button.
7. incorporate keywords
Keywords are essential to bringing traffic to your website and marketing your advisory firm, and they define what your content is about. They can be in your bio, on your homepage, or in blog posts, really just about anywhere on your site and be considered a keyword.
What is comes down to, is that they communicate to search engines what is on your website. When a phrase is entered into the search box, search engines want to pull the most relevant and useful websites to populate the SERP. When using them in your blog posts, try to incorporate in a natural way and don’t just insert them in a forced manner, which is known as “keyword stuffing.”
Twenty Over Ten client, Mountain Pass Planning, has a blog entitled, “Tips For Teachers: How To Prioritize Your Finances This Summer.” If a teacher is looking for ways to pay off student loans, make the most of their summers off, or just how to prioritize their finances, then that is spelled out exactly in the title and blog post with the keywords.
8. share it on social media
When you take the time to create an awesome blog post, don’t you want it to reach as many people as possible? When you make it simple for readers to share your content on social media, it creates visibility amongst an entirely new audience that may otherwise have never seen your post or website. This audience gains access to your post and may even find it relevant enough to share on their page, which then opens you up to a new group.
In the above image, Twenty Over Ten client Millers Financial Group makes it very simple to share their blog post, “The SECURE Act Has Passed. What Does it Mean for Your Retirement?” With the single click of a button, readers can easily share the blog on one of the big three platforms, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
9. double-check your work for typos
If you land on an advisor site and find some grammatical errors or typos, then you will probably not think as highly about the firm as you would have otherwise. Just make sure everything is buttoned up and ready to go. You only have about 7 seconds to make a strong first impression, so make sure you have checked for typos, make sure all of your links are working properly, and just do a skim to make sure everything looks good before you post!
10. optimize your blog posts regularly
As you create more blog posts and content on the main pages of your website, then it’s important to go back through and optimize your content. If you have spent a lot of time and effort creating these posts, don’t you want to be able to repurpose them and add to their longevity? The list below just touches on the overall optimizations that you should be doing to keep your content and blog posts fresh.
- If you have fresh content, then see where you can link back in blog posts
- Create a strong link-building strategy, so go back through every so often and ensure that your links are all working.
- Check that all of your images have alt tags
Doublecheck headers and title tags
- Make sure that you are paying attention to what is trending and insert keywords where appropriate
- If necessary, delete outdated content
People are constantly updating and searching for new and improved things for your website! So, just remember to check your posts every couple of months so that your site is clicking on all cylinders!
Blog Writing Services for Financial Advisors
This may seem like a lot, but it’s all worth it in the end as it will really help your blog posts to get more attention. Need help with blogging? Check out Content Assist! It is built Twenty Over Ten’s proprietary website-builder, all Twenty Over Ten users are able to choose blog posts by category, load them into their website, and then edit and further optimize the content for search engines. Advisors have the ability to customize and edit the content to add their voice, SEO keywords, and further promote their expertise, or use the content as-is. It’s available to all of our users for no additional fee, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. It’s a great tool that can make content creation so much simpler. Want to see some other options? Check out this post here!
Ready to Launch?
Ready to create a blog that boosts your rankings and drive more traffic to your site? We hope that this checklist helped you to rank higher and create awesome content.
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The Twenty Over Ten platform is jam-packed with everything you need to take your blogging to the next level!
About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.